A rebranding of the Hartford Wolf Pack to the Connecticut Whale (AHL) was a success, at least for one night, as the green-and-blue drew over 13,000 to XL Center.
All in all, things probably couldn’t have gone better for Howard Baldwin and crew on a night when they unveiled their effort to recapture the magic of the Hartford Whalers. First, the publicity surrounding the rebranding seems to have worked: a crowd of 13,089 was pushed by a walkup tally of more than 3,200. Second, the game was a good one: it took the Whale a shootout to defeat dreaded rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Third, the front office seems to have had the right amount of nostalgia mixed with the current product: a pregame video interspersed footage of former Whalers greats (like Pat Verbeek) with current Whale players.
The question will be whether the team can continue to draw on this level. We wouldn’t count out the chances of Baldwin — who seems to be reenergized by the franchise’s makeover — maintaining the success.
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